Senior Financial Planner
MS, CFP®, AWMA®, CRPC®
Prior to joining D3, Michael spent several years with a large, regional bank as a Wealth Management Advisor within their private bank. He specialized in serving HNW business owners, professionals, and corporate executives. In this capacity, he collaborated with a customized team of specialist to deliver high-quality client service and comprehensive advice-based solutions to help his client’s achieve their financial goals.
Michael also has over a decade of experience with a large, global money manager where he helped business owners, professionals, and corporate executives accomplish their financial goals through holistic financial planning. He was responsible for assembling financial plans, managing the investment process and ongoing relationship.
Academically, Michael has earned his Master’s in Science in the area of Personal Financial Planning. Combined with his CFP designation, this combination has provided him with the necessary expertise in his profession.
Additionally, since the area of retirement planning and working with high net worth individuals have their own inherent nuances, Michael earned the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) designation that focuses only in the area of retirement planning and the Accredited Wealth Management Advisor (AWMA) designation that focus solely on the needs of high net worth clients.
In addition to the required continuing education that is required with each designation, Michael also stays abreast of the ongoing changes in his profession as a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and local estate planning councils.
Personally, Michael is a lifelong resident of the Chicagoland area and the four seasons (but not the extremes) and the urban diversity are what keep him here. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife and three children. When sports activities aren’t in the weekend plans, they enjoy exploring new restaurants, areas of the city, taking short weekend trips and just hanging out.
Employee Spotlight Michael Smith
What was your career path prior to joining D3?
I’ve been helping individuals and families with their financial planning since 2001. I’ve couldn’t have planned for better career path for experience and the opportunity to help all types of individuals and families with their own unique situations. My first ten plus years with one of the largest money managers in the country, then then next couple of years within the “private bank” of a very well-known regional bank, and now with D3 which is the quintessential financial planning firm.
What attracted you to D3?
Ethics. Education and Experience. I looked and talked to a lot of financial companies in the area and D3 stood out from an ethics, education and experience perspective. D3 truly does look out for the client’s well-being and values the planning process before all else. In addition to valuing industry experience, D3 also has a very high standard for industry credentials and educational accomplishments which was very important to me.
Tell us a little bit about your family
I have been married to my wife Mary since 1995 who never ceases to amaze me with her energy and ability to manage our three kids Hannah 13, Ethan 8 and Sarah 8. Particular challenging was when our twins, Ethan and Sarah were young and when we had two of everything!
You have twin children. What are the best, and most challenging parts of being a parent to twins?
Since they are twin boy-girl, one of the best parts is watching the dynamics between the two of them as they interact and grow up together and how each of them handle things differently. Sarah knows Ethan’s hot buttons and loves to press them! One of the most challenging parts was when they were younger and couldn’t do anything for themselves.
What book is on your nightstand?
“Wit and Wisdom” of Abraham Lincoln
What was the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
I think I would buy a summer home on a lake somewhere within a few hours of our home.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Ecclesiastes, “Rejoice o young man in thy youth.”
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Leaving the outside door open when the air conditioning is on.
Do you have any pets?
Are you working on mastering any new skills or perfecting any hidden talents outside of work?
I’m working on my handyman skills from drywalling to laying tile as I take on remodeling my basement.
If you could visit any place in the world, what would it be?
I had just read recently that a whaling ship wreck from the 1800’s was discovered under water somewhere in the Arctic waters. I would love to do something like that.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I enjoy hanging out with my family. Right now we are in the travel sports stage. When I have my own down, quiet time (which isn’t often), I’ll go for a bike ride or catch up on some reading.